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The Women's Institutes (W.I.) was founded in 1897 in Stoney Creek, Canada. The first attempt to establish the W.I. in the U.K. was in 1899, but it was not until 1915 during First World War that the movement was established in order to encourage women to support the war effort in agriculture and industry. Madge Watt, the founder of the W.I., had the support of the Agricultural Organisation Society in opening branches of the organisation across the UK. The first one was at Llanfair PG, on Anglesey, North Wales on September 16th 1915, and the first WI in England was Singleton WI in Sussex.

Initially the members of the W.I. were growing and preserving food, while also creating a community for themselves. The organisation was open to all countrywomen, and it aimed at giving the members opportunities to educate themselves and build new skills, by practicing music, drama, learning to cook, or doing gardening and crafts trainings. The W.I. has since developed into a mutual support structure for women, as well as an important lobbying voice. Individual branches are self-governing and are grouped into County Federations which together make up the National Federation of Women's Institutes. The Glamorgan Federation was established in 1923. Today, the W.I. has links with over 8 million women in some 60 countries.

The “Members Guide to the W.I.” gives essential information about the history, organisation and various opportunities of the W.I. This item is the cover page of the guidebook.

Glamorgan Archives, DXNO2/14

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Ref: Glamorgan Archives, DXNO2/14

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